The Russian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will not permit a discriminating vote on stripping away its powers and will leave the PACE spring session, delegation head, State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov said.
"In this case we think it is necessary not to allow developments to reach the vote on stripping the Russian delegation of its powers and in the case that we see things proceeding towards such a vote, the Russian delegation will leave PACE on its own even before such a vote is held, so that no one will strip anyone of powers," Pushkov said at a State Duma meeting on Tuesday.
Russia has no intention of allowing "such a discriminating, hostile vote," he said.
The PACE leaders are aware of this possible response of Russia, so the ball is in their court now, Pushkov said.
"They should discuss and decide now what is more sensible for the Council of Europe," he said.
The Russian delegation is analyzing the situation closely and allows that "indeed the intensity of anti-Russian emotions in the PACE, which is being maintained by efforts of our enemies, could prevail," Pushkov said.
If the situation develops in a negative way, the Russian delegation "will deprive our enemies of the pleasure of voting for our exclusion" by leaving the session, he said.
The Russian delegation will make a relevant statement, explaining its motives on the decision and leave the PACE on its own, Pushkov said. "This does not mean we are leaving PACE completely," he said.
Pushkov said regarding the appeals of some deputies to stop paying PACE membership contributions that Russia had already paid the 2014 contribution.
"We will not return the money, we resolve this issue now and the way we will build our relations with the Council of Europe will depend on the situation development and our stance," Pushkov said.
"Apparently, it is necessary to pay at the end of the year," Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.
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